Hi John and thanks for your reply and comments.
During my law enforcement career I did CSI type stuff for about 10 years that included reviewing documents. I'm not a document expert. But in looking at the engravings on this piece, I did find some similar fonts on other period items on the internet. As far as the date format goes, that is a good question. I also noticed that the left vertical leg of the "H" in John is not straight and the hanging appendages in the "T" in TO do not appear to be of equal length. I also noticed the hanging appendage on the horizontal line of the F in W.F. is canted to the right. There are other examples on the other inscription as well.
I will be happy to post other pictures of the gun. There is a cartouche on the left grip but the engraved medallion covers most of it. If you look to the right of the inscription that has the 5-16-1869 date, you can see the right side of the cartouche. I do not have pictures of the Inspectors initial marked on the gun but would be happy to provide those if you would like.
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